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Digital Video Is UK's Rising Star

UK adults' average time spent watching digital video will near an hour per day in 2017

April 20, 2017 | Media Buying | Video

Digital video usage is becoming a significant part of UK adults’ media consumption. According to eMarketer’s first digital video viewing forecast, adults in the UK will spend an average of 53 minutes per day watching digital video this year, a tally more than double what it was five years ago.

By 2019, 10.1% of daily media time, and almost 20.0% of daily time spent with digital activities, will be devoted to watching digital video.

Average Time Spent per Day with Video by UK Adults, by Device, 2017 (hrs:mins)

The popularity of video streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer has helped to drive up adoption of digital video viewing in the UK over recent years. Digital video consumption via smartphones and tablets has also increased. This year, UK adults will spend 27 minutes per day watching digital video through a mobile device, up from just under 6 minutes daily in 2012.

In a further sign of digital video’s popularity, it is the one desktop/laptop activity that will grow rather than shrink through most of eMarketer’s forecast period. Total daily time spent with desktops/laptops began to recede in 2015, and last year time spent with mobile devices overtook daily time using personal computers for the first time. However, time spent viewing digital videos via a PC will grow this year by 2.0% to reach more than 25 minutes per day.

“UK adults’ love affair with the small screen has translated into the digital realm,” said eMarketer’s senior analyst Bill Fisher. “Whether they’re consuming digital video content via their smartphones, laptops or smart TVs, the average time spent with video content continues to rise. Small declines in time spent with traditional broadcast TV are being more than offset by growth in TV-like content on other platforms.”

Share of Average Time Spent per Day with Select Media by UK Adults vs. UK Ad Spending Share, 2017-2019 (% of total)

As previously noted by eMarketer, consumers in the UK will continue to increase their time spent using mobile devices, and the percentage of ad spend allocated to reaching mobile users will rise at an even faster rate. This year, mobile’s share of UK ad spending will rise to nearly 40%. By 2019, more than half of advertising investment will go to mobile.

Overall, adults in the UK will spend an average of 9 hours, 25 minutes per day with major media in 2017, according to eMarketer’s latest time spent with media forecast—up 1 hour, 16 minutes from 2012.

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